10 fun things to do in Marrakech with kids & family
Complete Your North Africa Trip With These Ten Best Places To Visit With Kids In Marrakech, Morocco. North Africa is like the Middle-East’s ignored sibling. Very similar in genetics and culture, yet not really given enough importance by prospective visitors and tourists.
Except for Egypt and Algeria to some extent that is mainly visited by French and British tourists, rest of North Africa does not get a lot of attention in tourist circles.
However, it is only now that the region has finally started showing up in international tourist radars and people are finally making up their minds to visit this wonderful region.
Especially, the country of Morocco is so rich with culture and history, missing it out would not less than an act of foolishness for those who are constantly looking for cultural and historical treasures.
Morocco is a rich blend of Berber and Arab cultures as well as genetics and has a very proud legacy of being a former Roman colony. While most of the country follows the Arabized Islamic culture, you can still see some remnants of the old culture.
Despite being a Muslim country, Morocco is relatively safer than other countries in the region. Its capital Marrakech is not just the political center, but also its cultural center.
We would suggest you take a separate trip to this wonderful city of Marakkech instead of combining it with rest of North Africa.
Here are ten best things to do with kids in Marrakech, Morocco that you cannot miss out.
Ever saw one of those old Arabic themed bazaars full of crowds with people covered in traditional white loins, going about their day? Well, this is where you can find that scene even in the 21st century.
Djemma El-Fna is the typical Arabic market where you can find people selling local foodstuff, knick-knacks, small items, flea shops, story-tellers, fortune-tellers, snake charmers, singers and what not.
If you are seeking an authentic experience of this country, Djemaa El-Fna will quench that first of yours. Also, this bazaar is the main center or circle of the city, so you can expect to get inundated with a lot of crowds.
Medersa Bin Yousef:
A Medersa or an Islamic school, this building was built in 1565 by the local Saadians and is still considered as one of the most important religious and historical landmarks in the country.
The Medersa Bin Yousef is not just an ordinary Islamic school but a place that is beautifully built, decorated and well-maintained by the authorities.
Made of exquisite materials like local sandstone, granite and stalactite ceilings, this school once used to house nine-hundred students of Islamic law and jurisprudence. It also has a water pool in its center that accentuates its beauty.
This palace was built as the place of residence of the grand vizier Bou Ahmed of the Sultan Moulay al-Hassan in the 19th century. The palace is built in the typical Moroccan architecture with zellige tiles, wrought iron railings and intricately carved ornate interiors as well ceilings that are painted with flowers and plants.
The palace shows the extravagant lifestyle led by Bou Ahmed since he directly served the Sultan. The palace also gives us a peek into the life of the 19th-century Moroccan aristocracy when times were relatively peaceful and calm.
Although the palace cannot be considered as the epitome of Moroccan luxury, it still offers a mesmerizing view of a life of comfort in the past.
A souk is a marketplace in the Arab world that specially established to sell expensive items such as jewelry, spices, gold, precious stones, dry fruits and silk fabrics and textiles.
The Median Souk of Marrakech will take you back in time and overwhelm you with sensory pleasures that will leave you enchanted with the old world charm of Marrakech.
The souk is filled with different types of markets across categories such as souk for leather and tanning, souk for fabrics, souk for gold and jewelry and souk for food and spices.
You don’t have to buy anything from the souk to breathe in its essence. You can also take a casual walk through the market and feel the spirit of a place where time stands still.
The Koutoubia Mosque stands tall at the height of seventy meters. According to a legend, the muezzin or the person who calls for the faithful for daily prayers was required to be blind since one could see the Sultan’s Harem from this height.
The mosque was constructed by the Almohads in the 12th century and has survived a lot of historical events. It symbolizes the epitome of the Almohad dynasty that rule here in the early Middle Ages. Although non-Muslims are not let inside the prayer hall, you can still visit the rest of the mosque.
As mentioned earlier, these were the builders and patrons of the Medersa Bin Yousef from the Saadian dynasty that ruled the country from 1524 to 1668 and have left a considerable legacy behind in Morocco.
The Saadian Dynasty was one of the most influential dynasties in the history of Morocco and these tombs, lay sixty-six members of the dynasty, including all the subsequent rulers.
The tombs are built in a typically North African architectural style. The light brown color and the combination of square and circular shapes will certainly leave you amazed.
If you are a connoisseur of architecture, do not fail to visit the Saadian Tombs.
Dar Si Said Museum Of Moroccan Cultural Arts:
It is worth appreciating that the local government took an effort to concentrate all their arts and crafts in one place where they can showcase the creative talent of their local craftsmen.
When modern and contemporary art does not evoke your interest anymore, it is time you go back to the roots and go old school. Built by the Vizier Si Said, this palace was later converted into a museum.
The museum houses a range of artistic objects, mainly Moroccan carpets with intricate and carefully woven patterns. It also has wood carved window frames, vases, small objects, textiles, jewelry, musical instruments and even arms.
One who is interested in finding out the evolution of arts in North Africa should not miss this museum.
Have you been looking for the oldest monument in the city? Well, here we have arrived. Built during the 12th century in the reign of Ali Ben Yousef, it is also known as Koubaa Ba’adyin.
With such a rich historical legacy you cannot give a miss to this place. Although the exteriors of the building are relatively simple, the interiors are quite interesting.
Moreover, when the Almohads toppled the Almoravid Dynasty from Morocco, they destroyed much of their architectural legacy. However, the Almoravid Koubba somehow survived the wrath of the invaders.
You may not feel very impressed in the beginning when you take a look at this monument, but it is only when you learn about its history, you will fully appreciate it from the heart.
After taking walks through Marrakech’s souks, absorbing the culture and architecture of its vast monuments, it’s finally time to revel in nature and enjoy some calm, peaceful time with your family.
Manara Gardens are like an oasis of peaceful calm that every answer seeking mind seeks occasionally. Built in the 19th century on the side of a waterfront, Manara Gardens are breezy and cool and are a popular spot for families to gather around and have some leisure time during the weekend.
Residents of the city flock here to get away from the busy bustle and we are sure, you will too.
Toubkal National Park:
Nothing can be better than the Toubkal National Park when closing your Marrakech trip with a memorable note. The Toubkal National park is where North Africa’s highest mountain peak Djebel Toubkal is located at a towering height of 4167 meters.
You can take a trek to the mountain with a local tourist agency and enjoy the scenic view of the villages in the vicinity. Getting a bird’s eye view of the settlements below can be a memorable experience even for second-time visitors.
Located just 57 kilometers south of Marrakech, the Toubkal National Park is the perfect closing destination for your long winded tour.
We hope you are going to love these top ten wonders of the Marrakech city. Although there could have been many others on the list, we hope you can get done experiencing these ten locations in less than a week which would leave you with more time to see the rest.
Normally, a fortnightly trip for the whole Marrakech city is more than enough, and you can cover three destinations a day on an average. This will likely leave you with more time to see the rest of the country.
Given that Morocco is a Muslim nation, we urge you to follow the rules and regulations from time to time since penalties could be a bit harsher. Although the country is relatively liberal as compared to those in the Middle East, you still wouldn’t want to take your chances.